Hey folks, Valkor here. We're nearing our wrap up of TOV's 15 films of horror, which has been an interesting ride to say the least. I thought 30 films in 30 days were stressful, but that's a walk in the park by comparison to this. That's because it's not just about filling in 30 films, which was easy because I could do anything. No, this round I kept it specific, and I didn't want any kind of horror films, I wanted good, cheesy, scary, funny, gross horror films to enjoy. So keeping that in mind, we're heading back to Japan for one more go around for number 11. And Meatball Machine… probably one of the dumbest films I've yet to watch, but it's that balance of goofiness and gore that makes it enjoyable.
Meatball Machine centers around Yoji (Issei Takahashi) who's just a lonely guy, no girlfriend, his next door neighbor mooches money from him, and he has to spend his time listening to his coworkers talk about sex, which sucks when you're not getting any. Or never had any in Yoji's case. The highlight of Yoji's day is checking out Sachiko (Aoba Kawai), a woman whom he sees during his lunch break as she's hanging clothes out to dry. One night, Yoji takes in a porn flick and has a run in with a tranny, that doesn't end well for him – he gets his assed served. But through it all he finds this weird… shell thing that he takes home. What is it?
It's actually the shell of what is known as a Neoborg. Neoborgs run rampant throughout Japan… and it's weird because no one seems to notice these strange creatures that battle it out, in broad daylight no less. The Neoborg shell attaches itself to a human, the larvae inside the shell comes to life and becomes the pilot – like a mech. The Neoborgs then fight each other to the death, with the winner removing the loser's heart and eating it.
So what does this have to do with Yoji? After a failed attempt at getting laid by a prostitute, he finds Sachiko about to get raped – by his own boss! Yoji steps in, gets his ass handed to him… again. But to the loser go the spoils as he gets to take Sachiko home. She reveals to him that she was abused by her father in such a way that she has mad scars all over her body. Telling her tale upsets her just enough that it starts up the Neoborg (which feeds off of human pain and suffering) Yoji was hiding out and it soon attaches itself to Sachiko. Now Yoji will do whatever it takes to get her back – even becoming a Neoborg himself.
You really can't make this stuff up and if you don't know about Meatball Machine, well now you know.
This is the kind of cheese I enjoy – pointless story, lots of blood, and big monsters battling it out. The only thing missing is bouncy, naked boobs! However, to take things up a level, there is a hint of tentacle sex tossed in. Special effects aren't crazy CGI anything, rather you get low budget puppetry and buckets of syrup that looks like blood. The Neoborgs themselves are crazy to look at, which is kinda steampunkish, mixed with organic human parts; pretty twisted. The ending has a pretty fun twist to it as well, which a) brings to light what the Neoborgs are and why they are on earth. And b) finishes up the Yoji/Sachiko relationship.
This film is bad! But it's so laughably bad it's good.
The Neoborgs for one, watching the larvae take it up the butt that's two, and three, the implied tentacle sex – ouch! Poor Sachiko…
Meatball Machine is the kind of fun you want this Halloween. It's a great mix of goofiness and gore that'll have you pointing, laughing and turning your head saying "WTF!?" Do I recommend it? Yes I do. What am I giving Meatball Machine out of TOV 5 stars? I'm gonna call it a 3 and say that's it's been Valkor tested and TOV Approved.